Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Shredly's MTB Curvy Line

I was browsing through Instagram one morning not long ago and came upon a promoted ad. It was from Shredly and I couldn't help but pause momentarily. I've been drawn to the fun patterns of their MTB shorts for a few years, and the photo and caption was no exception. About a year ago, after drooling over a pair of their shorts for months, I decided to go ahead and order a pair. It was questionable as to whether or not they would fit, but I thought if I didn't give them a try, I'd never know for sure. Unfortunately, I just couldn't quite squeeze myself in... and who wants to squeeze into a pair of cycling shorts - particularly MTB shorts anyway?

As I passed by the Shredly photo on Instagram that morning, I felt the need to leave a comment -- something I generally don't do on promoted content.  My comment was something to the effect of requesting that they start carrying larger sizes because try as I have, my giant backside/legs just aren't able to squeeze into their shorts. I didn't really expect to get a response, but I thought I should at least put it out there, as I know I'm not alone in my struggle to find appropriate gear. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, right?
*Image from Shredly.com - "The Tina"
Within seconds a response popped up informing me that they have begun a new line of shorts that they thought would work well for me: the MTB Curvy. I was ecstatic! I rushed to the website and discovered that in fact this new line of shorts is running the span of size 4-24. Fan-freaking-tastic! Although I wasn't in love with the idea of a yoga waistband, I thought that I'd give it a chance and see if it could work. I ordered a couple of sizes, just to make sure I'd have options to try as size charts don't always tell the full story in regard to fit, and set to waiting for them to arrive.

This short comes as an outer short only, without a chamois or liner. Liners are available to purchase separately or buyers can use one from another maker that is comfortable for the individual. Personally, I prefer this option as opposed to being forced to use a sewn-in liner, so I was pleased to see Shredly kept this for the MTB Curvy. Because the line is still on the newer side, there also aren't as many pattern options as with the other, longer-standing options from the company (or so I've assumed this is the reasoning). I have no doubt there will be additional choices down the road -- or, at least I will say that I hope this is the case, as I don't have any insider information on this matter.

I'm adding a couple of photos of these on just to
give an idea of fit. My sincere apologies about
the quality of the photos. I am 5'3.75" in height and
these hit below the knee on me.
When the shorts arrived, pretty quickly after ordering I should add, I tried them on and modeled for Sam to get his feedback. They seemed slightly on the long side to me, but I am not a very tall person, so I suppose that's to be expected. Plus, I knew they'd ride up as I pedal. I was also a bit thrown with the "curvy" label, given that the size chart didn't seem to be that of a truly curvy fit (I feel the need to insert a comment here to state that bigger doesn't necessarily mean a person has a curvy figure - one can be larger and have straighter measurements, just as a smaller person can have straight, curvy or somewhere in between measurements. Personally, I would define "curvy" as someone who has at least a 10-inch difference between waist/hip, but beyond that, I consider myself more of a blocky-body type, despite having a large difference between waist/hip). Even with the drawstring at the waist tightened up significantly, there was still quite a large gap at the back of the waist and I felt as though there could've been more room through the hips. Sam thought they looked fine and in keeping with the spirit of mountain bike gear, and his opinion was that if there was room to move and they didn't feel too tight, they'd probably be worth a try.

As it happened, we were preparing to try out a route that was a bit more appropriate for this type of gear than the rides I sometimes take on my mountain bike, meaning more climbing, rocks, roots, and so on.  I have to admit, as we got pedaling, I was grateful for the longer length as they ended up settling in just above my knee as we rode.

Despite the horrible photo, you may
get a sense of the wrinkling/excess
fabric at the waistband.
After a couple of hours of riding, I noticed that the waist had become even looser than it was at the start. Although I never felt as though the shorts were slipping off my body (there is a drawstring after all), the amount of excess fabric seemed a bit much and there was still quite a large gap at the waist, even with the adjustment cord. Personally, I felt as though the fabric used for the waistband could've been different so as to not create so much stretch while riding. It's nice not to have a button or snap digging in, but it's as though this fabric goes overboard with too much give.

I am so grateful to see a company like this offering bigger sizes and realizing that people of all different body types ride bikes, and I don't seem to be alone. The line has been out for a very short amount of time and many of the styles/sizes are already out of stock. I hope other companies take note and realize that there is a market for cycling clothing in larger sizes. I do, however, think this particular version could do with some additional tweaking. Ultimately, I'm not sure the label "curvy" is truly the best descriptor for this line. I think it's more accurate to describe it as a line keeping with Shredly's standard MTB shorts that just happens to have a really stretchy waist with a drawstring and comes in larger sizes than their others. If a person has a straighter lower body waist/hip measurement, these may be a great fit, but as someone with a waist that is about 13 inches different than her hips, I could've done with a smaller waist and a smidge more material in the hip area. I ended up having to go up in size to accommodate my hips and legs, which may have created the issue with excess fabric around the waistband, but if I went down in size, I am certain the hips would be too tight.

The fabric itself is a nice weight, particularly for summer conditions. It seems sturdy enough to hold up over time, yet lightweight enough to allow the wearer not to become entirely drenched in sweat when hot temperatures hit. The fabric does not seem to be as thick as that of the other line I've tried from Shredly, but neither is it as flimsy as some other brands I've experimented with in the past that have felt as though there was no substance at all. I would describe it as a lightweight running short fabric that has another light layer inside to create a very small amount of structure.

The thigh vents are an interesting feature. Both thighs are made with a long zipper that opens to create venting for air flow. I'm not certain this is a feature I will use, but for those who need it, it's great and it didn't bother me to have the zippers present either. Both hand pockets at the hip are functional and while they aren't super deep (meaning, I wouldn't carry things in them while riding), they are suitable for after-ride items when walking around. One deep, snapped pocket can be found on the right leg. It contains a small fabric loop to attach items such as keys. Most phones will likely be accommodated in this pocket as well.

If you are someone who doesn't fit into standard/straight sizes of cycling gear, these could be a great option to check out, or if you fit into standard sizing but would prefer a stretchy waist as opposed to a snap/button, these may also be to your liking. As stated prior, I am thrilled to see sizing options opening up like this new line from Shredly and the idea of making a different shape is also something I must applaud. That said, I believe there is room for improvement, or perhaps it's something that can be considered in a future line -- to keep this model, but offer a truly curvy fit for those with bigger waist/hip ratios. All in all, I consider this a decent effort by Shredly and I hope they continue to grow and expand their options.

*Just a note to say that I have not been paid or gifted any items by Shredly, nor any company for any reviews on the blog unless otherwise indicated. Opinions are my own and may not necessarily align with another user's thoughts/opinions. 


  1. I really hope that more manufacturers take a cue from Shredly and start offering wider size ranges.

    1. Totally agree! I know progress can feel incredibly slow, but I think the fact that they've nearly sold out in such a short amount of time should say something.